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Why did Israel raid and wreck a children’s centre in Jenin?

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For the past three years, the Brighton Trust, the charity of which I am a trustee, together with activists from the National Education Union in Britain, have been raising funds for Al-Tafawk Children’s Centre in Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The centre, which is run by local volunteers, is the only one of its kind in the camp, which hosts around 14,000 Palestinian refugees made homeless by the establishment of Israel in 1948. It provides around 120 children aged three to 16 with play, education and food, as well as a warm welcome.

It is the only source of amusement they have to turn to in the bleak surroundings of the camp, which in 2002 during the Second Intifada lost dozens of residents in an Israeli army massacre and more than 400 homes in a brutal bulldozing campaign in yet another act of Israeli collective punishment of Palestinian civilians. The camp has been subjected to regular military incursions ever since.

Created in 2010, Al-Tafawk Children’s Centre largely managed to escape the attention of the Israeli military – that is, until recently. The first signs that the Israeli army had its eye on the centre came in January, when its manager was detained for 24 hours and severely traumatised.

Then in the wake of the protests in........

© Al Jazeera

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